Punjabi Murgh Masala

I can’t count the number of times I have cooked this dish; yet every time I sit down to eat it, I still get a tiny bit excited. It’s because it never disappoints. It is for that reason that I decided to teach my Punjabi Murgh Masala at my third LIVE COOKERY CLASS this afternoon. I have also decided that it deserves to be flagged under my “Spice Club Staples” recipe collection because once you have nailed how to make the masala part of this recipe, you can actually use it as a base for countless recipes, so tis a great go-to in our current climate.

The masala is also fantastic to cook in bulk, store in a jar, top with a little bit of oil & keep in the fridge. When you come home and fancy a delicious chicken/paneer/mixed veg/fish prawn masala…you know it will be ready in just a matter of minutes.

Sure you can reach for an expensive jar of a pre-made “curry” paste. But why would you when you know the fresh masala you have made from scratch in your own kitchen is (so much) tastier, has no additives/colourings, is more nutritious and not to mention cheaper. Okay my sales pitch is officially over. Now you have to try it for yourselves and let me know your thoughts!

If you missed the live cookery class but want to catch up and watch, you can do so by clicking here. Also, if you have any dish suggestions for next week’s class, comment below or drop me a message on Instagram or Facebook. I would love to hear from you!

Punjabi Murgh Masala (Chicken Curry)

Ingredients
  

For the chicken marinade:

  • 500 g skinned boneless chicken thighs cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt Plain/Greek works (a full fat type is preferred)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala

For the masala:

  • 5-7 tbsp oil or ghee, or a combination of both
  • 3 bay leaves optional
  • 3 cloves optional
  • 3 green cardamom pods optional
  • 1 black cardamom optional
  • 2 medium onions (approx 175g) very finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves grated
  • 2 " ginger grated
  • 5 tbsp tomato passata/blitzed plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp double concentrate tomato puree, optional
  • 1-2 chillies finely chopped, (or you can use 1/4 -1/2 tsp chilli powder)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sun dried fenugreek leaves/kasuri methi, ground into a powder, optional
  • Handful fresh coriander with stems finely chopped

You will also need:

  • 1 x Foil lined oven tray
  • Jug of water (room temp is fine)
  • Pestle & Mortar if you have one. Don't worry if not!

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat your grill at the maximum temperature setting. Place all "marinade" ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Place the marinated chicken on a foil lined oven tray and spread out. Grill for approximately 10 minutes or until fully cooked (the chicken should be white all the way through and have a slight golden char all over). Remove from grill and keep aside.
  • Heat the oil/ghee in a pan. Using a pestle & mortar, coarsely crush the cloves and cardamoms until coarsely ground. Then add to the oil along with the bay leaves. Immediately after, add the chopped onions along with 1 tsp salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until soft and translucent.
  • Now add the grated garlic and ginger and mix. Continue to cook for a further 3-4 minutes until completely golden brown.
  • At this point, add the tomato passata as well as the puree and green chilli to the pan and stir for a a minute.
  • Now, reduce the heat. Then add the garam masala, coriander powder and paprika and mix well. Cook for a minute. When you see the oil begin to separate from the masala paste at the edges, add the grilled chicken. Add approximately ¼ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, place a lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  • Finish with the ground, dried fenugreek leaves and fresh coriander. Allow to simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.
  • If you like your curry to be even more saucier, you can add a little more water (you may need to adjust the seasoning slightly if you do this)
  • Taste for salt and chilli and adjust accordingly.

Sukha Aloo – Punjabi spiced potatoes

We are all adjusting and adapting to a very new style of living right now. It’s resulted in huge change across the board and for every individual, that has translated to mean different things. The biggest change for me has been shutting shop at The Spice Club and closing my cookery school doors. It’s been very hard but I have been trying to focus on how I grateful I am that as a job, I get the opportunity to share my cookery knowledge with others and actually see my students benefit from it in their own kitchen.

Given the situation I am in, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to continue sharing. Via social media, posting recipes on here and as of yesterday by means of LIVE ONLINE COOKERY CLASSES on Facebook. I taught one of my favourite dishes yesterday, Sukha Aloo. It’s a fav because it takes 10 minutes to cook and scores high marks in the taste department (that’s an actual place in the brain). If you’d like to re-watch it and follow as I cook, you can do so here. Or if you’d rather not watch me jibber jabber, you can scroll down and read the recipe below.

I wil be doing regular FB Live cookery classes. My next one will be next Friday 3rd April at 4pm GMT. Hope to see you there!

Sukha Aloo

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion (approx 100g) thinly sliced
  • 2 heaped tbsp double concentrate tomato puree
  • 575 g potatoes red/desiree are ideal, cooked & peeled & cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp amchur/mango powder optional
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped or 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • Handful fresh coriander roughly chopped, optional
  • water

Instructions
 

How to:

  • Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds. Give them a quick mix and then add the onions.
  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium/high until light golden in colour. Now add the tomato puree along with 4-5 tbsp water and mix well.
  • At this point, add the potatoes and sprinkle over the salt as well as all of the dry spices and green chilli. Mix well.
  • Finish with fresh coriander and mix once again. Turn off heat. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly.

Notes

To cook the potatoes, you can boil them. OR I cook mine in the microwave as it’s easy/no washing up. To do this, wash potatoes, then place in a freezer safe bag (or any clean small plastic bag) and tie it up. Pierce a hole in it and then place in the microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until cooked.

Roasted Gosht Palak Lamb Spinach Curry

This slow roasted Lamb Gosht Palak was the star of the show at my recent Mughlai cookery class. Marinated lamb roasted in whole spices and a glorious caramelised rich masala. 3 words = melt in mouth. A dish fit for a Moghul King or Queen ????. When I posted a snap of this on instagram and facebook, I didn’t expect so many requests for the recipe. (I also didn’t realise the pool of green spinach would turn out to be so photogenic). Thankfully this dish tastes as good as it looks so enjoy the recipe. Pop a comment or share a photo of your recreation if you make it!

Roasted Gosht Palak Lamb Spinach Curry

Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For the marinade:

  • 850 g leg of lamb boneless cut into 2” chunks
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala

To cook the lamb:

  • 5 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamoms crushed open
  • 1 black cardamom crushed open
  • 3 cms cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic grated
  • 3 ” ginger grated
  • 1 ½ tsp salt or according to taste
  • 6 tbsp tomato passata
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 250 g fresh spinach

Instructions
 

  • • Place all the ingredients in the “marinade ingredients” list in a bowl. Mix together & cover. Ideally allow the lamb to marinate for 24 hours. If not, overnight is acceptable.
    • Pre-heat oven at 220*C. Heat ghee/oil in a pan. Once hot, add the bay leaves, green and black cardamoms, cinnamon stick and cloves. They should begin to splatter immediately.
    • Now add the onions and cook until translucent-this should take about 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic at this point and cook on a medium heat for a further 10-12 minutes or until they turn fully golden brown.
    • Now add the tomato pasata along with the green chilli. Cook for a further minute. Reduce the heat and then add the salt and all of the dry spice powders and cook for 2 minutes.
    • Now add the marinated lamb to the pan. Cook on a medium/high heat, mixing continuously for 5 minutes or until it begins to seal.
    • Now transfer to an ovenproof pan. Add enough water so the lamb is completely covered and place in oven. After 30 minutes, give the lamb curry a mix and reduce temperature to 180*C and place a lid on top.
    • Bring half a cup of pan of water to the boil. Place the spinach in the pan and as soon as it is wilted (should take about 2 minutes) remove and drain using a sieve. Place in a food processor and blitz into a paste. 
    • Once the lamb has been cooking an hour, add the wilted spinach and then cook for a further 45-60 minutes or until the lamb is tender. (If you ever see that the lamb curry is looking a little dry, you can add some water). 
    • Remove from oven. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly. Finish with fresh coriander.

Notes

 Feel free to pick out the whole spices before serving.
If you want to slow roast, after the first 30 minutes, drop the temperature to 175c and cook for 3-4 hours (checking on it every 40 minutes or so).